By Alison Shell
After the Reformation, England's Catholics have been marginalised and excluded from utilizing revealed media for propagandist ends. as an alternative, they grew to become to oral media, corresponding to ballads and tales, to plead their case and continue touch with their group. development at the starting to be curiosity in Catholic literature which has built in early sleek reports, Alison Shell examines the connection among Catholicism and oral tradition from the mid-sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. on the way to get better the textual lines of this minority tradition, she expands canonical obstacles, taking a look at anecdotes, spells and renowned verse along extra conventionally literary fabric. In her archival learn she uncovers many very important manuscript resources. This ebook is a vital contribution to the rediscovery of the writings and tradition of the Catholic group and should be of significant curiosity to students of early glossy literature, historical past and theology.
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Additional info for Oral culture and Catholicism in early modern England
The unambitious metre of ballads can initially prevent one’s noticing their sophistication in other respects; anecdotes frequently yield formal satisfactions; ﬁctional tropes can derive from oral culture and be grafted back into it; and looking at popular culture can at all times yield unexpected insights into canonical writing. 100 More literary-critical work is needed too on material from the world of popular culture, which more often than not falls outside the literary canon. One way to do both jobs at once is perhaps to look, as this study does, at the world of ballad, anecdote, reminiscence, inscription, rhymed prayer and onomastic which had the potential to inﬂuence the self-deﬁnition of so many Catholics, and must have been particularly important for those of low degree.
205) Willis’s concern with trying to authenticate the story is manifest. Nor is it merely a matter of common knowledge in the neighbourhood, but ‘credible Witnesses’ are willing to testify to it; and the suggestive initials denoting Sir Berkeley Lewis’s name hint at how the matter is still a living scandal. The authentication strategies so characteristic of later, avowedly ﬁctional ghost stories are all in place, as Willis proceeds to retell the supernatural element of the story; but well aware that his readership would be eager both for thrills and moral exposition, Willis had this story indexed under ‘Sacrilege, the consequences of it’.
Though the secular landowners who acquired monastic property during the Henrician Reformation had a legal title to their newly acquired land, 23 24 Oral Culture and Catholicism their families’ moral claim on it, during the Reformation and for centuries afterwards, was felt by many to be considerably more dubious. 5 In addition, over the period covered by this study, many Protestants, especially High Churchmen and those of antiquarian interests, would have tended to agree with Catholics on two points: that widespread sacrilege had taken place during the English Reformation, especially at the time of the dissolution of religious houses; and that divine vengeance for sacrilege could be extremely long-term.
Oral culture and Catholicism in early modern England by Alison Shell